Turkey's takeover of leading opposition newspaper Zaman has been widely criticized by EU leaders worried about a media crackdown.
“We will be back as soon as possible with quality and unbiased news”: the website of Turkey’s Zaman has been out of action since authorities pulled the plug on it and seized control of the country’s top-selling opposition newspaper on Friday.
Turkey’s move has been criticized by EU leaders worried about a media crackdown.
In Brussels, where European heads of state were holding talks with Turkey on Monday to find a joint solution to the continent’s migration crisis, European Parliament President Martin Schulz raised the issue.
“I had a very open exchange with the (Turkish) Prime Minister who disagreed with my point of view. I think this is not a surprise,” Schulz said. “I insisted that for the European Parliament and the European Union, freedom of media is a key element of our European identity.”
On Saturday, Turkish police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters who’d gathered outside the newspaper’s office after the takeover.
— Kenneth Roth (@KenRoth) March 5, 2016
Zaman was linked to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara says was plotting a coup.
Last month, two journalists were released from jail after Turkey’s top court ruled their rights had been violated. The pair had been accused of espionage and treason over a report alleging the government tried to ship weapons to Islamists in Syria.